When Mark Higgins put in a heart-stopping lap at the harrowing Isle of Man two years back, it could be assumed that his 19:15 lap time would stand unchallenged for some time. Watching “>the footage, it seems hardly possible that any more performance could’ve been extracted from that hefty Subaru, what with him grazing the walls and entering blind corners with no margin for safety. There haven’t been many videos demonstrating absolute commitment like that one, but it seems Higgins wasn’t comfortable resting on his laurels, and made another, wilder video.
While the Subaru-prepared car Higgins set his record with in 2014 was, by in large, a stock WRX STI, his new, Prodrive-prepared STI is a far cry from the stock machine he used last. That is instantly recognizable not only in the straight-line performance but the response, willingness to change direction and braking ability. Notably, it looks quite nervous under accleration, where that power easily spins up the rear tires.
That chattering wastegate and snarling flat-four are reminiscent of sounds from the Group B days, when WRC cars produced similarly outrageous amount of power. This one-lap special is built with a similarly obsessive chase for performance, but with modern tech to insulate the driver from accident, which is fortunate, since the Isle of Man event claimed two lives this year, which almost seems to be commonplace.
Higgins averaged 128 mph for a time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds around the 38-mile track, which might stand unbeaten for some time. However, with Higgins’ dedication, Subaru’s resources, and a relatively well-publicized event, things could easily change. We cross our fingers in anticipation.